The best laptops for gaming and schoolwork

Why choose between a gaming laptop and a school laptop when you can get a computer that does both? Gaming laptops are cheaper now and stronger than ever, and many wouldn’t look out of place in a classroom. If you intend to do serious multimedia work in addition to playing online video games, a dedicated gaming system is worth looking into. you can find general advice about in our guide to choosing a gaming notebook. But if you want a few models that will be perfect for school and play, you’ve come to the right place.

Are gaming laptops good for school?

As we mentioned, gaming laptops are especially useful if you do any demanding work. Their big promise is strong graphics performance, which is not limited to games. Video editing and 3D rendering applications can also tap into their GPUs to handle labor-intensive tasks. If you can find a decent GPU in some productivity machines, e.g Dell XPS 15, you can sometimes find better deals on gaming laptops. My general advice for any newbie: Get at least 16GB of RAM and the biggest hard drive you can find (ideally 1TB or more). Both of these components are usually difficult to upgrade down the line, so it’s worth investing in what you can do upfront.

One big downside to choosing a gaming notebook is portability. For the best balance of size and price, we recommend the 15-inch models in most cases. These typically weigh around 4.5 pounds, which is considerably more than a three-pound ultraportable. Today’s gaming laptops are still lighter than older models, so at least you won’t be lugging around a 10-pound brick. If you’re looking for something lighter, there are plenty of 14-inch options these days. And if you’re not into LED lights and other gamer-centric bling, stick to simpler models (or make sure you know how to turn those lights off).

Photo: Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Read our full review of the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

The ASUS ROG Zephryus G14 it may be a little more expensive than when it was originally released, but it remains a fantastic all-purpose 14-inch laptop. The beauty of the latest model is that it features an all-new unibody aluminum chassis, a vibrant 120Hz OLED display, solid performance and tons of ports – all for hundreds less than the equivalent Razer Blade 14. It even has a built-in microSD. it has a card reader and presets for several color gamuts, so it can easily pull double duty as a photo/video editing machine. Its sound is also above average thanks to powerful stereo speakers. Battery life is also solid, with the Zepyrus clocking in at just shy of eight hours in our overall test. What’s more, the G14 weighs almost half a pound less than competing laptops with similar designs. The main drawbacks are that its GPU runs on an RTX 4070 (instead of a 4080 as in the previous model) and that the RAM is soldered inside. But if you want a really great all-rounder that offers a lot of power in a portable package, this system should be at the top of your list. – Sam Rutherford, Senior Writer, Reviews

$2,000 at Best Buy

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

For years, Razer has built a reputation for making gaming laptops that look as good as MacBooks. And this is still true. Razer’s Blade 15 it has a sleek and sturdy metal body, a simple design (unless you really turn on those RGB keyboard lights), and pretty much all the power you could want in a portable gaming powerhouse. If money is no object, you can Equip Blade 15 With Intel’s latest 13th generation processors, NVIDIA’s powerful RTX 4070 and a 1440p OLED display running at 240 Hz.

While you’ll pay a little more for the Blade 15 than some other models, you’ve got a few different price points to work with. The entry-level model starts at $1,999 with an RTX 3070 GPU and a 360Hz 1080p display. That’s certainly enough power for most games and creative applications. If you’re looking for something a little smaller, Razer’s new AMD-powered Blade 14 looks at compelling also. Razer also recently debuted Blade 16 and 18 modelsit costs (and weighs!) a lot more than the Blade 15, but could be useful if you need a bigger screen.

$2,450 on Amazon

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

While Alienware has established itself as a solid premium brand, Dell’s cheaper G series laptops are worth a look for anyone on a budget. In particular, G15 The trend continues to bring more capable hardware under $1,000, including Intel’s latest 13th generation CPUs and NVIDIA’s RTX 30 and 40 series GPUs. Of course, the body is mostly plastic and the display doesn’t offer the latest refinements, but for the price it’s hard to find anything more powerful.

$800 at Dell

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

taking the idea of ​​a gaming laptop absolute extreme, ASUS’ latest Zephyrus Duo 16 It combines AMD’s latest Ryzen mobile processors with NVIDIA’s stunning RTX 40 series hardware. And as the name suggests, it has two screens: a gorgeous 16-inch main display (with optional Mini-LED backlighting) and a very wide 14-inch secondary panel below. This opens up near-desktop-level multitasking as you can have windows spread across both screens. It can help you watch an online lecture while you fit in, say, a Halo Infinite fits on your home screen. Don’t worry, we won’t tell.

$3500 at ASUS

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

The biggest and most powerful Alienware laptop ever m18 it’s the ideal gaming laptop for someone who values ​​screen size above all else. It can be equipped with Intel’s fastest 13th generation CPUs, NVIDIA’s RTX 4090, or a 165Hz QuadHD+ display, or a super-fast 480Hz 1080p+ display. It’s a beast of a game, but would also be a great choice for audio or video editing students. A bigger screen means a bigger timeline view – exactly what you want for huge projects.

$2,800 on Amazon

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